May is nearly upon us and I am back to my habit of rifling through the release lists to find the most interesting books heading our way in the next month (with apologies to April, which I never managed to take a look at. I’m sure it was great). Here’s my thoughts on what you might like to make some room for…
Real life has been entirely distracting, so going through the list of May releases resulted in both surprise and delight as there is so much coming out that wasn’t even vaguely on my radar.
It takes quite a lot to interest me in yet another retelling of a Greek myth, but Rani Selvarajah has nailed it: Savage Beasts reimagines Medea as a colonial tragedy of eighteenth century India. Take my money. Take it now. Out on May 25th (One More Chapter / HarperCollins).
What’s this, a collection of Premee Mohamed’s short stories with a devastating title and tentacles on the cover? Yes indeed. Expect cosmic horror and hateful gods, smiling monsters and gorgeous prose. no one will come back for us is out on May 16th (Undertow Publications).
On a small island in the Indian Ocean, a community threatened by climate change must make difficult choices. I’m currently reading Mother Sea and I’m happy to say Lorraine Wilson’s new novel shares the exquisite sense of place and character than made This Is Our Undoing such a devastatingly good read. Out on May 18th (Fairlight Books).
A priestess dedicated to helping lost souls find peace has her life turned upside down when a dead poet returns in the flesh demanding justice for her murder. A fantasy murder mystery, a fish out of water, a hedonistic Poet’s Court – I love the sound of The Untimely Undeath Of Imogen Madrigal by Grayson Daly. Out on May 23rd (Nosetouch Press).
Nick Harkaway is back with another of his signature genre-bending stand-alone thrillers. When one of the genetically-engineered elite is murdered, a detective finds a trail of treachery and revenge. If Titanium Noir was by anyone but Harkaway, I wouldn’t give it a second glance. But it is Harkaway, and his books are always a good time. Out on May 18th (Corsair).
The Collarbound was one of those books that I liked more the longer I thought about it. Rebecca Zahabi’s epic fantasy continues with The Hawkling. Friendship and loyalty will be tested as the Renegades march on the Nest – and a divided city under threat is ripe for treachery. Also, hats off to another excellent cover. Out on May 11th (Gollancz).
I approach cyberpunk with caution, but Aubrey Wood’s Bang Bang Bodhisattva promises to combine genre conventions with irreverence in an odd-couple comedy thriller as a trans girl hacker and her Luddite partner try to figure out who is framing her for crimes she didn’t commit. Sounds like a blast. Out on May 9th (Solaris Books).
Xueting Ni continues bringing Chinese culture to a Western audience with Chinese Myths. Expect ancient tales of monks, dragons and the Monkey King illustrated with a wealth of photographs in this exploration of Chinese mythology. Out on May 14th (Amber Books).
While I’m even more cautious of dark academia than I am of cyberpunk, there’s no resisting a family in hiding, safeguarding a collection of magical books. Throw in enchanted mirrors and an Antarctic research station and take my money. Fantasy thriller Ink Blood Sister Scribe by Emily Törzs is out on May 30th (Penguin Books).
I’ll close with a lush new historical fantasy from Nicole Jarvis. A Portrait In Shadow is set in a 17th century Florence where art is imbued with magic that can heal or harm. An ambitious but disgraced young woman is determined to make her mark, but she must choose which matters more: her legacy or her vengeance… Out on May 2nd (Titan Books).
What else is coming out this month that I should be getting excited about?
All release dates and publishers are for the UK unless otherwise mentioned.